Some western states are fighting extreme forest fires as they spread in our country and resources are becoming scarce. The Texas A&M Forest Service has deployed more people than ever to help.
The Texas A&M Forest Service has firefighters with boots on to help contain these fires. And that’s not all, they also used equipment like fire trucks and bulldozers. But that’s not all, administrative employees also help in states where they are needed.
Heather Gonzales was used for the Robertson Pull Fire. It helps to disseminate important information about the status of the wildfire to the community.
She’s been there for a little over a week, representing the Texas A&M Forest Service in Montana. She will complete at least 14 to 21 days to provide her expertise.
“I left on Tuesday, July 13th to get to Montana. The drive took about two and a half days. I got here on the 15th and started my first day on July 16th,” said Heather Gonzales, the public Information officer for the Robertson Draw Fire used by the Texas A&M Forest Service.
According to InciWeb, The fire is 85% contained, but the area has just been placed under a heat warning and red flag.
“Definitely a new experience that I appreciate. One of the things I love about my career is the ability to travel and help all over the country,” added Gonzales.
The current weather conditions, which remain hot and dry in the western areas, and the increasing risk of fire have prompted the national interagency coordination group to raise the national preparedness level to 5.
“It’s the highest level, and it’s pretty early to get there at this time of year. Usually it isn’t until the end of August when we start to see PO 5 initiated, ”said Wes MooreHead, associate director of the Texas A&M Forest Service.
Right now, Texas is experiencing unusually cooler and humid temperatures for this time of year. This has reduced the potential for forest fires, bringing the Texas A&M Forest Service to a total of 70 employees.
“It’s an indicator that resources are scarce and therefore they really need resources to fight fires,” said Moorehead. “So we took the opportunity to really sell more numbers than ever before.”
Among the 70 deployed there is a 20-strong handcrew in Northern California on a mission with a suppression module. Other forest fire-affected states involved in the operation are Arizona and Idaho.